Put down the Kindle and get down to this proper book store on Hanbury Street.
A cool new book store dedicated to creating an atmosphere that warms and welcomes readers. On first glance it is clear that it is the curation of Libreria that sets it apart from other book shops. The intimate setting is opened up by a floor to ceiling mirror that reflects the sunny street, giving the illusion of more space and a second opening onto the street. Yellow wooden walls and shelves make the room appear candle lit, cubby holes and inviting armchairs scream ‘sit and relax.’ Pretty when the sun sets. Libreria’s signature yellow wood was shipped all the way from Austria.
“…a place where anybody can come and escape and read.” — Libreria’s Jess
After opening in late February 2016, the Libreria book store has hosted various events and signings to bring the writers closer to the readers. Libreria itself was opened by the co-founder Rohan Silva of Second Home, the creative workspace and cultural venue located just across the street.
The idea of Libreria, much like Second Home’s offices, is that it provides an alternate experience to something we are already familiar with. Employees welcome sitting down and reading before buying, *GASP. * It is asked that visitors refrain from using their phones and Wi-Fi is nowhere to be detected. Fiction and non-fiction books run horizontally across the walls and are ordered by theme to encourage readers to pick up something they might usually overlook. The more elaborate book covers are facing the shopper, this kind of detail in curation is why the store looks to be exhibiting the books as well as selling them.
Just left of the entrance there are zines for sale that have been sourced from various presses, the Tatton Loose press of Chicago to Antenna home grown in Dalston. The books themselves are often sourced from smaller presses including the Hoxton Mini press and the Notting Hill edition.
On Underground’s visit to the store we were shown the ropes by Jess, who is particularly excited about the printing press that Libreria operates. They are currently experimenting with typography and printing in house, growing a library of memories via postcards, prints and zines inspired by words from authors and guests that pass through.
If September isn’t a busy enough month for the team, located just off of Brick Lane, they plan to extend opening hours so people can read for longer.
Last week Libreria held a book signing and meet and greet with Isabel Greenberg, graphic novelist and creator of One Hundred Nights of Hero. The author baked cakes with characters faces on while Libreria’s team created prints from three pages of the novel to sell and be signed. No worries if it was missed however as One Hundred Nights of Hero is on sale in store.
On Friday and Saturday, the store opens until 11pm, the staff have been known to share a glass of whiskey with customers for the sake of the weekend. Sunday afternoon’s and every other Friday’s are extra active with live music from the in-book-store DJ booth. Soon guests will even be welcome to come along for film screenings on Tuesday’s.
Delicate book sized illustrations will also be displayed by Marie Jacotey from the 4th of October onwards so we would advise stopping by and having a look.
Find out about Libreria, opening times and where you can find it at: http://libreria.io